German soccer club Bayern Munich fined its midfielder Franck Ribery after the Frenchman insulted his critics in expletive-laden comments on social media, following a trip to a high-end Dubai restaurant during the season's winter break.
Ribery posted a video on January 3 whilst dining at one of the restaurants owned by the Turkish celebrity chef Salt Bae, real name Nusret Gokce. In the video, he is seen preparing to eat a huge gold-leafed steak, which reportedly cost $340, before performing Salt Bae's trademark salt sprinkling. After receiving criticism online, the Frenchman hit out at what he called "jealous" people in a series of angry tweets.
In a club statement Bayen Munich clarified that Ribery had been invited to the restaurant, but had not paid the reported 1,200 euro ($1,372) bill. Details of the fine imposed on Ribery have not been made public, but the club have insisted it was "heavy."
Ribery had ordered the luxury steak at a Turkish eatery as part of an ad campaign before posting the tweets.
"He used words which we as FC Bayern Munich cannot accept and which Franck as a role model, as a player of FC Bayern, must never use." Bayern Munich Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic said whilst at the team's winter training camp in Doha on Sunday.
"I spoke to Franck for a long time yesterday and told him he would receive a hefty fine. He has accepted this punishment," Salihamidzic added.
It added that the player had accepted the punishment — although his tweets remain online and have been shared by tens of thousands of users.
The German soccer season will resume on January 18 after its annual winter break, with Bayern Munich currently six points adrift of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table.